Ninja Gaiden

 ninja-gaiden-xbox
I never cared for Devil May Cry nor God of War, so I wasn’t exactly sure how well I was going to love Ninja Gaiden which rebooted the NES series on Xbox. After about ten minutes I was hooked, and I have loved the series ever since and I even went back and enjoyed the first two NES games.
ninja-gaiden
I think my main deal with GoW or DMC is really just the combat. I think they are a bit too slow and sluggish and the enemies seem to take too much of a punch for no reason. With Ninja Gaiden, enemies take long to defeat only when you’re not skilled enough to take them out effienctly. The bosses were excellent, the combat smooth, and their was a little RPG-ish shop system that made the game a little easier after the game gets much harder.


Though Tecmo gave us this weird monster lady boss, and even though it was a good fight, Tecmo is pathetically trying to put a thong on anything female. Works with Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden… not so much. Joking aside, I think this is the best game in the series, and even though Ninja Gaiden II sucked monkey balls. I think Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword on the DS was fantastic and a much truer sequel than the 360 train-wreck.

Kung Fu Fight

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

We are always on the lookout for retro style mobile games and we found a winner with Kung Fu Fight. Created by Nostatic Software this mobile game combines the classic style of gameplay in controls, action and difficulty.

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

You are a farm boy who has to rescue the kidnapped girl and you do this by running, sliding, jumping and fighting your way through increasingly difficult levels. I am not kidding here, even on the normal setting it gets hard, Ninja Gadien hard.

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

The controls are simple enough. Your character is constantly running and along the way there are various obstacles you have to deal with. For some like bad guys and breakable items you hit the attack button, for tables and other items hanging from above you slide underneath and for the rest you jump over it.

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

Sounds easy enough, but so did Kung-Fu Master and just like that game it’s much harder to do than it seems. You begin with simple obstacles to overcome and the game will tell you what to do, but timing is everything so just because it says “jump” that does not mean you might not jump to early or too late. As the game progress the stages get harder and harder.

Overall, this is a great retro inspired game that will keep you entertained if not frustrated while you try to beat all the levels. The storyline, music, sound effects and graphics are all retro themed and executed well. It can sometimes be hard to hit the right buttons especially when you are further in the game, but with practice you will get it.

For 99 cents on Google Play it’s worth the buy for any retro gaming fan.

Yuri Moskva: Frogwares

Frogwares logo

Name: Yuri Moskva

Title: Community manager

Company: Frogwares

Ninja Gaiden Trilogy

Favorite Classic Game: Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (SNES)

Why it is your favorite game: Being a huge fan of karate-ninja stuff I was completely mesmerized when I first played this game. I was always concerned that this game is much more advanced in terms of gameplay and possibilities than any other SNES game.  And all the possibilities, weapons, skills and the atmosphere… Sorry, I have to go find my old SNES console.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGoja-AN1i8[/youtube]

Retaining

deadliest-warrior

Bravo’s series Deadliest Warrior got me thinking about all the great games over the years featuring ninjas, from the classic System 3 game The Last Ninja to various beat ‘em ups. But there is one series I am not a fan of – Ninja Gaiden. It’s just one of several similar games on the way.

I am not a fan of the “dojo game”, the genre typified by Devil May Cry and the God of War series (which is making its way to PS3, along with HD versions of the first two games). However, let me make it clear from the start I am not saying that they are “bad” games – I’m saying that they are not my cup of tea. That’s down to two main factors – the difficulty level and the button combos.

I do not see the challenge in mastering 100-button combos and posting a video on YouTube about it. One of the biggest problems seems to be balance. There is a fine line between rewarding high levels of skill and letting the player get through the game. Too often it seems easier to button bash than to time and execute moves, particularly when the combos rely on exacting timing. And hacking your way through wave after wave of the same enemy soon loses its appeal.

Then there are the puzzles – they rarely progress between simple switches or moving something from A to B. A sequence from the original God of War highlights why Nintendo’s new Demo-play feature (designed to give tips as you play) could work. And if you have not played God of War, consider this next piece a spoiler. A room with a gate can only be left by activating the large pressure pad in the middle of the room, which opens the gate for a short time when Kratos stands on it. But there is no way to get past the gate before it closes again (since you have moved off the pad). The answer is hidden in your inventory – the head of Medusa can be used to turn an enemy to stone, making it easier to kill. Freezing an enemy on the pad lets you get past the gate, but it wasn’t immediately apparent to me and I spent several minutes before the idea dawned on me. If Demo-play can highlight an area of screen or give a clue by suggesting you look in your inventory, it could help guide players through such a puzzle rather than relying on an online guide.

The most promising of this new wave of dojo games looks to be Bayonetta from Platinum Games. The team were responsible for bonkers PS2 beat ‘em up God Hand and the more recent Madworld on Wii, and with a heroine whose hair is a weapon it seems they are trying something different again. But will it get good reviews and sales to match? It seems unlikely, given the competition, and that could be disappointing and discouraging for a team that dares to be different.

 

Chris Gerspacher: Kerberos Productions

Name: Chris Gerspacher

Company: Kerberos Productions

Profession: Lead Artist

Favorite Classic Game: Ninja Gaiden

Quote: It was a hard pick, but I mentally went through all my NES carts and I have to pick Ninja Gaiden. Bouncing from wall to wall, ninja star throwin’, minion dodgin’, hack and slash boss battlin’ – the original twitch gamer experience for me, personally.


Bio/Current Event: Chris is no longer the youngest member of the Kerberos team, for which he is thankful. If you’ve seen the Sword of the Stars II engine demo, you’ve seen exactly what Chris is working on.

Happy Birthday Nintendo

NES Console System
NES Console System

One day you’re unwrapping the brand new console you got for Christmas in the middle eighties and the next thing you know you’re twenty-five years older and can play every title on a cellphone. The first NES has given millions of fans countless hours of fun over the last two decades and will continue so for a long time to come and so we want to wish the Nintendo Entertainment System a happy 25th birthday.

Today, October 18th marks the 25th anniversary of the NES being first sold in the U.S. Now some of you gaming history buffs might be thinking “Hey, I couldn’t get my NES until 86.” Well you are right. Originally the Nintendo was only available for limited release at the high-end boutique toy store known as FAO Schwarz. It was at the New York store that you could purchase the NES in 85; you would have to wait a bit longer before you could buy it elsewhere.

FAO Schwarz
FAO Schwarz

When I purchased my NES it cost me around $159.00; however the pricing for what was called the Control Deck ran for about $129.00, it came with two controllers and the combo game of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. I remember repackaging my NES in the original box every night before bed. However, that didn’t last long and soon I was blowing on cartridges and punching it out of frustration, good times.

Gold Zelda NES cartridge
Gold Zelda NES cartridge

The Nintendo Entertainment system had an incredible decade long run in the U.S. From 1985 to 1995 thousands of games came out that won numerous awards and critical acclaim from critics and fans alike. This is the system that launched with titles such as Excite-bike, Baseball and Ice-climber and went on to offer titles like Metroid, Ninja Gaiden and the awesome Golden Edition Legend of Zelda. Not only games, but the NES had awesome accessories such as the NES Zapper, Robbie the robot and of course the power glove.

Powerglove advertisement
Powerglove advertisement

Now our good friend also had some growing pains. First off was the issue with the front loading system on the NES which was prone to come loose over time. Also the spring that held up the cartridge bay would sometimes break after limited use. Then of course there was the blowing on the cartridge thing which had more to do with the connectors than just dust particles alone. In addition to some hardware issues the NES suffered from a ton of horrible third party games and accessories that dragged the system down in its later years. You could find add-ons of one sort or another for the NES everywhere from drug stores to gas stations. Then came the awful games like 1UP 7UP and crash test dummies, not to mention the unlicensed games like the infamous Bible Adventures game.

Bible Adventures NES cartridge
Bible Adventures NES cartridge

However with over 60 million units sold worldwide and the continued success of Nintendo and its core titles there is no doubt that the NES is one of the king consoles of the 80’s. As said the classic games are still played today on phones, via emulators and even on flash game websites. The NES became an important part of many households just like the family television and we at Obsolete Gamer are thankful for the time spent and memories with our Nintendo Entertainment System.

On to the next 25!

Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden screenshot
Ninja Gaiden screenshot

Ninja Gaiden

Have you ever known love and pure frustration all in one? I’m not talking about your girlfriend, I’m talking gaming. Ninja Gaiden for the Nintendo Entertainment System was a game I loved, but also one I grew frustrated with, so much so I destroyed my first NES over it.

Ninja Gaiden was released for the NES in March of 1989 after the successful run of the arcade version. Made by Tecmo the action packed side-scrolling platforming game was a hit with fans worldwide and is still acclaimed to this day. You play as a ninja named Ryu Hayabusa who is on a quest to avenge his murdered father. When Ryu arrives in America he finds out there is a plot by a man known as “The Jaquio” to take over the world.

Ninja Gaiden screenshot
Ninja Gaiden screenshot

As said the action is fast paced, but can be horribly hard. Your primary weapon is your katana, but you also have secondary weapons that require spiritual strength to use including throwing stars, windmill throwing stars and a fire wheel that gives you temporary invincibility. You find these weapons along with items to replenish your health, spiritual strength and even 1 ups by destroying lanterns and candles and other items hanging from walls.

Pretty much you are always running and moving forward which means you are constantly slashing at enemies and using your special weapons. Ryu can also climb ladders and can flip of walls to get to higher ledges. This may all sound easy, but trust me it is not. The first problem is like many games on the NES if you scroll from one panel to the next and back the enemy returns. What makes this horrible is when jumping from ledge to ledge and some damn bird knocks you to your death.

Ninja Gaiden NES box art
Ninja Gaiden NES box art

This was what hurt so much, Ninja Gaiden was a great game, it had cool graphics for the time and was fast paced and full of action. In addition it had awesome animated cut-scenes, cool music and a pretty good story, all things we want out of games. Then it had the worst learning curve of any game. Pretty much from Act 3 on you were in hell and when you reached Act 6 you were in hells toilet. It was not just the enemy placement and lack of health potions, many of the bosses were painstakingly hard and if you died it was a long way back to where you where.

Playing NG was like going through war, but once you did you were a better gamer for it and ready for the next installments of the series.